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“Salt: Is It Really Bad For You ?”

Every time we turn around, someone is trying to tell us what we should and should not eat.  Salt is right up there at the top of this list because it allegedly causes high blood pressure and a host of other problems.  But is that true?  Going back to 1988, the INTERSALT study compared urinary sodium levels with high blood pressure in 10,000 people and found no statistically significant association between them. Actually, the population that ate the most sodium had a lower median blood pressure than the population that ate the least.  In 2011, a study in JAMA compared the urinary sodium levels of 3,681 people with their risk of dying over the course of eight years. They found, surprisingly, that the more sodium their subjects ate, the less likely they were to die. The death rate among those eating the least sodium was 4.1 percent, but it was only 0.8 percent among avid salt consumers.  And, a 2011 Cochrane Collaboration review concluded that low-salt diets are associated with “increases in some hormones and lipids, which could be harmful if persistent over time.”

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